Report: Uber sacks hundreds of workers from engineering and product units | TribLIVE.com
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Report: Uber sacks hundreds of workers from engineering and product units

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Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg News
A man checks his smartphone while standing against an illuminated screen bearing the Uber logo in London.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Francisco ride-hailing giant Uber has laid off 435 workers from its engineering and product units as it seeks to create “lean” teams, according to a new report.

The company, which last month announced a $5 billion loss for this year’s second quarter, has shown the door to 265 people on the engineering team and 170 on the product team, the report said.

More than 85% of the turfed employees were based in the United States, according to the report Tuesday by TechCrunch. The number of workers sacked amounts to about 8% of Uber’s workforce in the two units, Uber told the tech site in confirming the layoffs.

A source told the tech website that Uber is lifting a hiring freeze for the engineering and product units that had been in place since early August.

“Our hope with these changes is to reset and improve how we work day to day — ruthlessly prioritizing, and always holding ourselves accountable to a high bar of performance and agility,” an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch. “While certainly painful in the moment, especially for those directly affected, we believe that this will result in a much stronger technical organization, which going forward will continue to hire some of the very best talent around the world.”

The job losses didn’t hit Eats, the company’s restaurant-food-delivery service and one of Uber’s top-performing products, or its shipping service Freight, TechCrunch reported, citing a source familiar with the layoffs.

To decide who was going to be sent packing, Uber leaders looked at team sizes, duplicate roles and overlapping work, along with individual performance, according to TechCrunch.

“Previously, to meet the demands of a hyper-growth startup, we hired rapidly and in a decentralized way,” Uber’s spokesperson told the tech site. “While this worked for Uber in the past, now that we have over 27,000 full-time employees in cities around the world, we need to shift how we design our organizations: lean, exceptionally high-performing teams, with clear mandates and the ability to execute faster than our competitors.”

In June, Uber said it had laid off about a third of its marketing employees, about 400 people, to cut costs.

Categories: Business | Wire stories
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